Ben Isreal, a farmer has called on Ghanaian farmers to produce food to meet international standards in order not to jeopardize the nutritional value.
Speaking at the launch of Elite Farmers League, a network of farming professionals over the weekend in Accra, Mr. Isreal, Managing Director (MD) of Edenic Farms, Sogakope warned farmers against the over application of chemicals in food production.
He advised them to be cautious with the control of weeds on their farms, noting: “The nutritional quality of food is very important than its quantity and therefore utmost care must be taken to prepare it with the expertise it demands.”
The objective of Ghana’s Farmers Market is to provide the general public with fresh and locally grown foods.
In an address, William Dzemele, chairman for the occasion, said Ghana’s Farmers Market was established to connect local farmers to the market and support agriculture in the country. “It is also to bridge the gap between farmers and consumers.”
Edward Kofi Ahiabor of Dagbe Farms, Anloga, an astute farmer who has operated in the industry for 20 years, highlighted some of the challenges of farmers.
He said most times, middle women who convey the farm produce to the market women dictate the prices to the farmers before they get to the city. “Market women thus earn more than farmers.”
Calling for a system that will enable farmers sell directly to consumers, he bemoaned the absence of electricity in most farming areas.
He stated that farmers at Angloga face many problems in acquiring lands, noting that “a plot of land sells for more than GH˘6000.”
Prof. F.K. Kumaka, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, lauded the farmers’ network, saying they could share ideas and talk about new technologies to improve the farming methods.
He added that the objective of the network is to get a database for all farmers in Ghana and develop efficient communication channels for marketing farm produce.
“This will also enable young agriculture farmers to join. They will also educate famers on capacity building on good agriculture practices and disseminate information about the correct use of fertilizers and pesticides and also bring scientific principles into farming and most of all market their farm produce directly to consumers.”
Dr. Bernard Nsiah, Manager of Africert Certification Company in charge of West Africa, who officially launched the network said, “This new concept called certification will enable farmers who produce quality products to sell their farm produce all over the world.”